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      01-08-2012, 01:39 AM   #1
vase330
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leaking anti-freeze can't find source.

Just regretting not having bought extended warranty for this piss of shit car. I am about just fed up. Its so much fun, but the reliability is the worst I have seen so far. Only 32K miles on it too. Just recently had LPFP and regulator replaced on my dime. I had an anti-freeze spill out completely a while back and they fixed it under warranty. Now it is leaking, actually kinda spraying. The whole underside is wet. I went over it with a flashlight, can't see the source. Frustrating it seems to leak only under pressure with the car completely hot. Its bad enough that I can't drive more than a few miles, looks like I will have to flatbed it again to the dealer. In all honesty am thinking might be time to look at Mercedes. I bought this car as I liked it so much, but the history has been dismal. Just endless problems. Seems BMW really built a shit car. Sorry had to rant. I don't trust this car going anywhere far. If I ever get another BMW (This one was my 5th and worst one to date), its probably going to be a lease now because I just don't want one after warranty. Not with this much trouble. It just seems to be one thing after the other after the other. The quality of these cars is just so freaking bad I can't remember a car worse than this. Not even my rattleville Eagle Talon TSI can touch this. Fun car yes, but be prepared to get loyally screwed.
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      01-08-2012, 01:57 AM   #2
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Did it over flow through caps or leaked through hose?
I had mine over flow...more like exploded on my way to Vegas one time, all I did was open the cap, refilled anti freeze coolant mixed with distilled water, let the heater (84 degrees) run at full speed for about 3-5 mins and never overflow'd again...
Hope it is just an easy fix for you
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      01-08-2012, 08:03 AM   #3
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I would think its a hose for sure...
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      01-08-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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No its not overflow, its leaking from somewhere as the antifreeze is all over the underpan and all the parts are wet. Its a pretty bad leak, but I can't see the source. I will add some now run the car see if I see where its coming from. I don't know its the hose unless maybe the knocked it or something last time car was at dealer for fuel system repairs. I have had my two main hoses replaced already one time when they repaired another leak. This is so frustrating. I only have 32K miles had this problem barely 10K mies ago and now this crap again. Last time I could see green stuff up top, and also could see lower hose had literary just burst. This time? Nothing just anti freeze everywhere. Be back with update soon.
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      01-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
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i had this happen. When my engine hit the subframe (another recall) the belts got shredded. The dealer put in the new engine and when the radiator hoses got connected, they reused the clips. Within 3 hours of driving the car, the clips broke and anti-freeze everywhere. Also, if you're bolted on with mods, its a possibility the that fnic or charge pipe connectors hit the radiator and or cooling hoses and caused a leak. Had that happen as well after the dealer re-connected the hoses from the engine swap.

The shitty part, i don't have extended as well so out of my pocket but the service manager has been pretty good so did cover some of the costs due to the car coming back so often.....
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      01-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #6
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The water coolant system definitely is a weak point on these cars. Mine is sitting in the garage since last Wednesday also because of a leak, and the garage has difficulties finding the source as well as it only seems to happen when the engine is hot and under pressure.

A friend of mine also had an unidentifiable coolant leak until he sold his car. Quite a pain on such an expensive car...

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      01-08-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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likewise, I just had the coolant hose that connects to the thermostat replaced in an attempt to trace a slow leak. Although the underpan is wet, nothing drips under the car in my garage, it only leaks under pressure.

My advice to the OP, look for signs of dried up coolant (white powder) for an indication of where the leak is. GL!
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      01-08-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
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If you can't see it and it happens when the coolant is hot and under pressure, it's most likely the radiator with a damaged core or a hairline crack around the base. You'll have to remove the undercovers and take a look at the car from underneath to know for sure.
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      01-09-2012, 12:13 AM   #9
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Car Pulled a Houdini tonight!!

Filled up with a half a can of anti freeze crossed my fingers took to local indy to have a look. Its barely 1.5 miles away so figured should be fine. Started car immediately put in drive and raced there. Well guess what? Got there and not a freaking drop underpan was dry as can be too. Took it off can't see a damn thing, only green residue all over the underside. There is definitely a leak but its random and bad when it happens. So we drove around in second in DS mode for almost an hour fan going like crazy with heat on windows down. Nothing!!

So mechanic tells me I don't have a problem sarcastically suggests I imagined it too. Oh well get back in the car drive maybe halfway up the hill headed home, then all of a sudden yellow radiator light comes on says low coolant followed by over heating warning to drive slowly, the second later limp. I pulled over shut off, walked back to the Indy shop. Guy comes over to see for himself and the car is literally steaming underneath. He walks back says fill it up again come back when it cools. So I am out there another hour hood open then with some towels opened the overflow just in case, but its cool. I unscrew it, fill the rest of the anti freeze. Close it start the car and drive back to shop. They put it up again took the pan off looked around and freaking everything is wet. after 15 or so minutes using towels to wipe it off, they give up say the car looks new not a damn leak anywhere. Yeah the car looks factory new underneath alright. Its freaking pulling magic tricks and leaking like a Mofo then stopping suddenly.

Put everything back on told me to drive until it happens again come back. I drove 2hrs around town in circles, in traffic no highway, just local driving (don't want to be far just in case it happens). Nothing this time. It seems to have stopped as suddenly as it had started. This evening I drove another couple hours until I needed to refill my gas. So far no problem no leaks? When it leaked I'd park and the water would run onto the ground start streaming from underneath the car. Now I can replicate it anymore. But now I am paranoid won't drive far with the car. I put in a second half can. At some point I could smell the burning or evaporating anti freeze from inside the car. Everything works 100% now. No leaks heat works I used a flashlight and its dry, just green and whitish powder traces on the hoses and underpan area. Again when it happens must be a spray because I could hear faint sound. Problem is it also over heated so had to shut off, so now how do I or anyone else trace this? If you had told me this could happen like this I would not have believed either. All I have to say is Wow these cars suck man. WTF is this now?

Make no mistake this is a big problem. I know I have a problem that needs resolving, but what do I do? See my confidence in the car is well none existent. I don't even trust it enough to go 20 miles away. Shame on such an expensive car we have to deal with this. I don't want to take to dealer if it will take hours upon hours to diagnose, at their rates either so its a catch-22 for me now.
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      01-09-2012, 12:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
If you can't see it and it happens when the coolant is hot and under pressure, it's most likely the radiator with a damaged core or a hairline crack around the base. You'll have to remove the undercovers and take a look at the car from underneath to know for sure.
??? This is original radiator that has worked fine up to now. I haven't hit anything and nothing is lodged in there. I suppose hairline crack is possible, but would it explain the spraying? Sounds like something plastic that expands with the right conditions met and just lets the water out under pressure. It could be hoses on the bottom end of the car maybe? I am unwilling to dealer it, or just go randomly replacing hoses hope it one of them that's leaking. Again car looks new, nothing out of place or worn or anything. I have 32K miles, and barely 10K miles since my last coolant leaking issue repair.
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      01-09-2012, 01:05 AM   #11
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Have you thought about taking it to an indy shop? They can pressure test the coolant system and shouldn't have much problem finding the problem
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      01-09-2012, 01:20 AM   #12
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I was at an Indy shop all day. Couldn't find the source. No pressure test was done though. I think I might need to go to dealer or maybe curry's auto? I don't want to dealer it, but I might have to.
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      01-09-2012, 09:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vase330 View Post
??? This is original radiator that has worked fine up to now. I haven't hit anything and nothing is lodged in there. I suppose hairline crack is possible, but would it explain the spraying? Sounds like something plastic that expands with the right conditions met and just lets the water out under pressure. It could be hoses on the bottom end of the car maybe? I am unwilling to dealer it, or just go randomly replacing hoses hope it one of them that's leaking. Again car looks new, nothing out of place or worn or anything. I have 32K miles, and barely 10K miles since my last coolant leaking issue repair.
Wow, that is rather puzzling. I was going to suggest leaving the car running on the hoist, while trying to find the leak, but that's no use if it's so intermittent. Pressure testing may only help if it's a large enough crack, since you need heat to simulate real life temp conditions.

You can try adjusting the clamps for the upper and lower radiator hoses and see if that helps. That's the only area that I can think of that may cause an intermittent leak. This would also be the cheapest part to replace to at least eliminate one potential source.

Do you see any dried up coolant on the engine block or around the head?
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      01-09-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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I have just got news from my shop: In my case the water pump had a fissure and had to be replaced. The pump consists of an aluminium and a plastic part, and it appears that the plastic part is prone to splitting and subsequently leaking coolant. Once I have the car (and the defective part) back I will also make a photo.

BMW seems at least to be aware that this happens frequently, as the nearest dealership had the pump in stock.

What is annoying is that the pump needs to be replaced as a whole, i.e. it is not possible to only replace the defective plastic part. The whole piece costs around 500 EUR (without labour, obviously). Upon getting back my car I will at least try to make a claim (although out of warranty) with BMW for a goodwill contribution to this failure which IMO is not acceptable from a car with 70.000km and only 3 years old.

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      01-09-2012, 11:57 AM   #15
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any work done by the dealer is typically 2yr/x mile additional warranty. So if it's similar to before I would have them check it.
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      01-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #16
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any work done by the dealer is typically 2yr/x mile additional warranty. So if it's similar to before I would have them check it.
I agree if you where leaking coolant before they may be able to do a good will claim
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      01-09-2012, 03:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Wow, that is rather puzzling. I was going to suggest leaving the car running on the hoist, while trying to find the leak, but that's no use if it's so intermittent. Pressure testing may only help if it's a large enough crack, since you need heat to simulate real life temp conditions.

You can try adjusting the clamps for the upper and lower radiator hoses and see if that helps. That's the only area that I can think of that may cause an intermittent leak. This would also be the cheapest part to replace to at least eliminate one potential source.

Do you see any dried up coolant on the engine block or around the head?
Mechanics thought it was clamps, but that area is dry obviously not it. Also nothing on the upper side of the engine (cylinder head areas).
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      01-09-2012, 03:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux View Post
I have just got news from my shop: In my case the water pump had a fissure and had to be replaced. The pump consists of an aluminium and a plastic part, and it appears that the plastic part is prone to splitting and subsequently leaking coolant. ...

Alpina_B3_Lux
Is your underside of the engine all wet? If that's the case maybe its my pump. I hope it isn't but bad feeling on this one. Is the leak intermittent and a big leak when it happens? That's what mine seems to be doing. Spraying all over when it opens up and then leaking nothing when the conditions are not met. This car has me thrown for a loop. I am going to have to dealer it now. If they find its the pump, I will ask they pre-cautionary change thermostat too.
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      01-09-2012, 06:20 PM   #19
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I suggest a pressure test at an indy shop as your next step. If that doesn't work, then you can go to the dealer.
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      01-09-2012, 11:39 PM   #20
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I'll give that a try and specifically request that. I'll update thread when I get it done. Now I have to find a convenient shop to do it.
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      01-10-2012, 05:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by vase330 View Post
Is your underside of the engine all wet? If that's the case maybe its my pump. I hope it isn't but bad feeling on this one. Is the leak intermittent and a big leak when it happens? That's what mine seems to be doing. Spraying all over when it opens up and then leaking nothing when the conditions are not met. This car has me thrown for a loop. I am going to have to dealer it now. If they find its the pump, I will ask they pre-cautionary change thermostat too.
No, it didn't spray all over. It was a small leakage, and I saw a puddle on the floor after letting the car sit overnight. Lost about 0.7 liters of coolant (measured after filling it up). I would guess yours has a different problem to mine.

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      01-11-2012, 04:14 PM   #22
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Todays Update from dealer...

Definitely leaking, and there was a puddle in the under-pan (I knew that). They see the hose couplings get wet when they pressure it. Its just the lower side hose, but they see 3 other places get wet. Radiator and seal near pump. They don't really see where its sipping from, but is a slow gradual leak under pressure. They think it could be pump; Alpina_B3_Lux it appears I have a similar issue to yours maybe? The theory is that it slow leaks until a big enough puddle collects, hit bump or tilt and somehow it gets splashed on belt or fan explaining all the wetness and green residual all over, because nothing leaking from up side of engine. They will keep it under pressure and recheck tomorrow see if they can pinpoint the source.

If this takes more time than this to locate, I am really starting to tilt towards selling this POS BMTroubleYou. I love the car when it works, but this now comes barely 700 miles after my last major failure where my LPFP and fuel regulator went out on me. Having been in the dealer so many times I couldn't think what else would fail, but it keeps learning new tricks so to speak. Every time I turn around there is something else wrong. Its a garage queen mostly as you can tell at merely 32K for an 07 and out of warranty, I am starting to worry it might turn out to be a money pit than never runs trouble free long enough to make it worth owning.
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